Difference between algae and moss

Main difference

The main difference between algae and moss is that algae are mainly a single cell plant, which are gathered together and grow in a cluster, while moss is a small plant found on land and is known as bryophyte.

Algae vs. moss

Algae are primarily water-dwelling plants, while mosses are mostly land plants. The study of algae is called algology, on the other hand, the study of moss is called bryology. Algae are more massive, on the other hand, mosses are tiny plants. Algae are known as thallus plants, while mosses are known as bryophytes. Algae have no thread-like structure or leaves, whereas moss is fibrous, latticed, and feathered. Algae are found in humid places, while mosses are found in dry areas. There are more than 30,000 species of algae, on the other hand, there are 12,000 species of mosses. Algae are unicellular and multicellular, while mosses are always multicellular. In size,

Comparative chart

Algae Moss
Algae are a single-celled polyphyletic group of lower thallus plants. A diverse group of small plants that lack the specialized tissues to conduct water.
Brach of sciences that studies algae is known as algology The branch of science that studies mosses is called bryology.
Number of species
More than 30,000 species of algae are found More than 12,000 species of mosses are found
Algae are multicellular, unicellular, and colonial organisms. Mosses are multicellular organisms.
They are from several micrometers to several meters in size. Mosses are always less than 1 cm to 10-20 cm in size.
They are mainly aquatic plants, but some of them also live in humid places They are mostly terrestrial plants, but some of them have adapted to living in a marine environment.
Floating and attached They are always attached
Algae are divided into diatoms, red, green, and brown algae. They are divided into hornworts, bryophytes, liverworts, and peat.
Algae are used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Mosses are used as fertilizers, for growing plants, for curing and treating rheumatoid diseases.
Spirogyra, ulva, sargassum, ectocarpus, melosira and coraline Notothylus, bryum, megaceros, lunularia and sphagnum
What are algae?

Algae are a polyphyletic group of lower organisms. Algae include unicellular and multicellular organisms. They live in a colony. All algae are photosynthetic eukaryotes. They have chlorophyll and chloroplasts. Algae are found in both freshwater and other marine waters. Algae are all aquatic organisms. They are also known as lower thallus plants, but they lack a stem, leaves, and roots, which is why their body is known as a thallus. The thallus of algae is of different types, as they can be filamentous, plate-shaped, and sometimes branched. All types of algae are aquatic organisms, but some have adapted to live in moist soils, wet rocks, and tree bark. They can be found floating or attached to the bottom of water tanks by specialized cells. Some algae are 30 to 60 meters long. Some brown algae are found 40-50 meters deep. Algae exhibit reproductive strategies from simple asexual reproduction to complex sexual reproduction. Algae are subdivided into different types that are the following:

  • Green Algae: Algae that have a predominant pigment in their cell chlorophyll are known as green algae.
  • Brown algae : The algae that have to predominate the brown and yellowish pigments in their chloroplast are known as brown algae.
  • Red algae – Algae that have red pigments in their chloroplasts are called red algae.
  • Diatoms: Algae whose cell wall is composed of silicon dioxide and its cell chloroplast have a yellowish-brown pigment.

Spirogyra, ulva, sargassum, ectocarpus, melosira and coraline.

What is Moss?

Mosses belong to a higher and paraphyletic group of plants. They lack specialized tissues to conduct water. Mosses are rootless but have rhizoids. They reproduce through both types of sexual and asexual reproduction, but in the case of asexual reproduction, they require water. Mosses are multicellular plants, annuals and perennials. Mosses are terrestrial plants, but there are also some that have adapted to live in water. There are two main classes in Phylum Bryophyta. Those classes are Hepaticae, which includes liverworts, and Musci, which includes mosses. They are confined to mainly humid and shady places. The alternation of generation is also present in the case of mosses where the gametophyte is more dominant. The gametophyte is anchored to the ground by the small rhizoids.

  • Bryophytes: mosses that are usually between 1 and 10 cm tall. They grow in dense tufts in humid places. They have distinct leaves, leaves, and rhizoids.
  • Hornworts: They are the oldest group of land plants. In most of its species, cells contain a chloroplast. They adhere to the ground by means of simple rhizoids.
  • Agrimony: They are small, irregular and tile-shaped plants. They cover large areas of dirt, trees, rocks, and other surfaces.
  • Peats: They are found in peat bogs. Most of its species are red and brown. Its stems grow in piles. Its stem contains one or two layers of dead cells that are used to transport water.


Notothylus, Bryum, megaceros, lunularia and sphagnum.

Key differences

  1. Algae are lower thallus plants, while mosses are a polyphyletic group of higher plants.
  2. Algae are freshwater and marine plants, on the other hand, mosses are land plants.
  3. Algae are unicellular and multicellular, while mosses are multicellular.
  4. Algae have no actual roots, stem, or leaves, whereas mosses have stem and leaf differentiation.
  5. Generation alternation is not present in algae, while mosses have generation alternation.
Final Thought

The conclusion of this article is that algae are unicellular and multicellular plants, lower thallus found in fresh water or sea water on the other side, mosses are polyphyletic higher plants that lack particular tissues to conduct water and are terrestrial plants .

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